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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

212

but in these troublous times we cannot for long have out of
our minds other affairs over which we have little control
They take place outside our shores but may profoundly
affect our lives in the future. We are like people living at the
foot of a volcano. It is so long since an eruption has taken
place that we go about our business without thought of fear.
Every now and then there comes a sudden blast of steam or
subterranean rumbling from the mountain, which reminds us
it is still alive, and then we remember it blew up once before
and we begin to wonder whether it is to be our fate to be
smothered in ashes or see our homes destroyed and devoured
by burning lava.
" I know from many letters I receive that the fear of war
has been hanging over countless homes for many months past
and filling the hearts of mothers and wives with gnawing
anxiety lest their menfolk may have to take part in it.
If there are any of them here to-day, I should like to speak a
few words of comfort to them. The main object of this
Government's foreign policy is the establishment and main-
tenance of peace, so that, instead of building up armaments
against one another, we may settle our differences and then
devote ourselves to make the world a better place to live in.
" I only wish it was possible to establish peace by just
declaring that we would not go to war, and inviting everyone
else to do the same. If we were to do that, we would merely
be inviting people who are not of the same mind as ourselves
to take advantage of us.
" It is important to remember that although it takes two
to make peace, only one can make war.
" If anyone was to attack us, we should have to defend
ourselves. That is the purpose of our rearmaments. We
have to make ourselves so strong that it will not be worth
while for anyone to attempt to attack us. That is only half
of our peace policy, because if we are to get a settled peace
established, we have got to try and find out what are the likely
causes of war and to remove them. We can only do that by
entering into friendly conversations with those Powers who
have grievances or think they have grievances against their
neighbours. That is the other half of our peace policy.
" In our view, we ought not to refuse to take opportunities